A month ago I hiked to the top of a rocky overlook in the Utah wilderness with some of my closest friends, seeking a prime stargazing spot. We arrived well before sunset, planning to avoid a nighttime run-in with the spiky green cacti and steep cliff sides we'd grown accustomed to encountering in the region. It wasn't a long hike, but the countless natural stairs and twists up to our destination, on top of our fatigue from the day's previous hikes, made us feel like we'd just tackled our longest adventure yet. Dust kicked up beneath our feet as we climbed and lizards skittered to the safe confines of anywhere-but-near-us. Eventually we crested the final hump of rock and looked out on the canyon below. The sun was setting by now - just in time! We threw off our hiking bags, cracked out some trail mix, and prepared to reap the rewards of our journey.
As the sun drifted lazily behind the surrounding mountaintops, the light blue daytime sky melted into a sea of orange and pink, and then gradually was overtaken by darker hues of red and indigo before, ultimately, black. Pinpricks of white broke through the blanket of darkness; distant stars and constellations twinkling to life above us. It was a view unattainable in the city sky we'd left at home and every bit worth the climb to see. My friend pulled out his phone and turned on Billy Joel's Piano Man, and the six of us watched the ocean of stars above, the music and our own voices echoing off the canyon walls around us.
A/N: This is the first coherent thing I've written in absolute ages and it was only written because of my English Composition class, but I kind of liked the last paragraph in particular and figured I'd share it. I've still got to write a whole narrative essay around this (or, rather, what "home" means to me, and I chose this), but that trip in particular had a lot of good moments to include.